Located on the island of Nantucket, this boutique experience of world class wines and award winning food will forever change you. Over the past 21 years, the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival has become one of the most celebrated wine and food events in the country.
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Junior Top Chef Competition
10:00am - 12:00pm
White Elephant Village
19 N Water St,
Nantucket, MA 02584
Watch four teams of culinary students go head-to-head as they compete for the title of "Junior Top Chef Champion" with the prize of a $5,000 Culinary Scholarship benefiting the Nantucket High School Culinary Arts Program. Each team will have 30 minutes to strategize with their Chef Mentor, and then the clock will start ticking. The teams will be given a mystery basket of ingredients and will have one hour to prep, plate, and present their dishes to the Celebrity Chefs for judging. Judges include Karen Akunowicz of Myers + Chang, Brian Alberg of The Red Lion Inn and Ed Brylczyk of Dole & Bailey.
You can meander through the tent and enjoy breakfast as you watch the action unfold at the Junior Top Chef Competition.
Admission is a $10 suggested donation to the Nantucket Food Pantry. Kids under 18 attend for free!
Brian Alberg, Executive Chef and Vice President of Culinary Development, The Red Lion Inn
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Brian is the Executive Chef at The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA a 125-room historic hotel with one seasonal and three year round restaurants and Eat on North Restaurant at the newly opened boutique Hotel on North in Pittsfield, MA.
In addition to his position as Executive Chef he is Vice President of Culinary Development for Main Street Hospitality Group, a privately held hotel management company originally founded at The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA. Brian oversees all aspects of food and beverage operations at Main Street Hospitality a portfolio, that in addition to The Red Lion Inn and Hotel on North, includes The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA, The Williams Inn, a 125-room hotel at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, the Elm Street Market, a neighborhood café and grocery store in Stockbridge, MA, Main Street Events and Catering, Seeds Market Café at Hancock Shaker Village and several off site cafés at cultural venues.
Brian is the founding chair of Berkshire Farm & Table, a board member and mentor for the Railroad Street Youth Project,a board member of the Norman Rockwell museum, and past board president and member of Berkshire Grown. He is actively involved in the Chef’s Collaborative, Boston Chefs and James Beard Foundation.
Karen Akunowicz, Executive Chef/Partner, Myers+Chang
Chef Karen Akunowicz is a 2015, 2016 James Beard Nominee for Best Chef Northeast. She competed on Season 13 of Bravo TV’s Top Chef-California, and she is the Executive Chef/Partner at Myers+Chang in Boston, MA.
She co-authored the Myers+Chang at Home Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin 2017) and was called one of the “ 21 Badass Women Changing the Food Word” by Marie Claire Magazine.
A New Jersey native, Karen graduated from UMass Amherst and moved to Boston. For years, she studied the art of hospitality as she bartended and managed restaurants. Drawn to the heat, pressure and hustle of the kitchen she enrolled at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.
She worked for Chef Michael Schlow and Christopher Myers at Via Matta in Boston’s Back Bay and helped to open the eclectic Beehive restaurant.
Throwing herself though a cracked window of opportunity, she packed her knives and moved to Modena, Italy. She found a red bicycle, inspiration and renewed passion for preparing even the simplest of food. Armed with a fool’s artillery of very little Italian, and no place to live, she staged at a small osteria, made pasta with little old ladies, and finally became the Chef at L’Avion blu Enoteca.
On return to the States, Karen had the opportunity to work for Chef Ana Sortun as her Sous Chef at Oleana restaurant in Cambridge. Karen embraced the farm to table mentality and studied Sortun's creative spice-driven cuisine.
A twist of fate landed her at UTEC Lowell, where created the Fresh Roots Culinary Program. She worked with Lowell’s most disengaged youth to teach them culinary skills and help them find employment. She was able to combine her passion for cooking and her desire to create community while teaching young people valuable job skills in a difficult economy.
As Executive Chef at Myers and Chang, Karen strives to create powerful, addictive, crave-able dishes that keep Myers+Chang at the top of everyone's go to list. She is married to her sweetheart LJ, who is an awesome vegetarian.